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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Anderlecht 0-1 Liverpool
Djibril Cisse
Djibril Cisse's volley guided Liverpool to victory over Anderlecht as Rafael Benitez's side remained on track to qualify from Champions League Group G.

Liverpool took the lead on 20 minutes, Cisse swivelling to hammer a shot past Silvio Proto from a corner.

Both goalkeepers impressed, Jose Reina making three vital stops, while Proto showed tremendous courage to twice save efforts from Mohamed Sissoko.

Anderlecht improved in the second half, but were let down by poor finishing.

The experienced Bart Goor missed two good opportunities, while teenager Anthony Vanden Borre was also guilty of a glaring miss when from a good position his shot went well over the bar.

The result represented Anderlecht's 10th consecutive Champions League defeat.

In contrast Liverpool look well positioned to reach the knockout stages with home games still to come against Anderlecht and Real Betis.

Cisse, whose speed constantly troubled Anderlecht, had another good chance midway through the second half but he scuffed his shot and soon after he was replaced by Harry Kewell.

Before Cisse's goal Reina twice came to side's rescue, saving first with his feet to stop Goor's mis-hit effort and then clutching Vanden Borre's shot.

Having survived those scares Liverpool began to probe Anderlecht's defence, with both Sissoko and John Arne Riise prominent on the right and left wings.

Riise set up a glorious chance for Luis Garcia on 13 minutes only for the Spaniard to blaze his shot over the bar.

It was Riise that won the corner that led to Cisse's goal, Liverpool's Norwegian cutting in and curling a right-footed shot that Proto tipped past the past.

On Saturday against Blackburn Cisse had tried a volley after a corner, only to get his timing all wrong.

But when Dietmar Hamann swung a corner across from the right Cisse got his timing spectacularly right, showing superb technique to blast a volley past Proto.

Ten minutes before half-time Proto kept Anderlecht in the game following another Liverpool corner when he saved Sissoko's point-blank shot.

Soon after Goor spurned another good chance when he ballooned a shot wide.

The second-half opened at breakneck speed, with Riise going close with a half-volley, while Vanden Borre drew an instinctive save from Reina.

Anderlecht, inspired by the promptings of Christian Wilhelmsson, were an altogether more cohesive force after the interval.

Wilhelmsson's trickery almost unpicked the Liverpool defence but Xabi Alonso rushed back to steal the ball.

The Swedish midfielder also claimed a penalty after his shot hit Jamie Carragher and television replays showed Wilhelmsson had a reasonable case.

With 12 minutes left it was Liverpool's turn to counter-attack, Sissoko breaking into the box, only to be superbly denied by Proto.


Anderlecht: Proto, Deschacht (Akin 75), Tihinen (Traore 50), Deman, Vanden Borre, Goor, Vanderhaeghe (Baseggio 61), Wilhelmsson, Zetterberg, Mpenza, Jestrovic.
Subs Not Used: Zitka, Zewlakow, Pujol, Hasi.

Liverpool: Reina, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Sissoko (Zenden 82), Alonso, Hamann, Riise (Warnock 88), Luis Garcia, Cisse (Kewell 74).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Finnan, Crouch, Morientes.

Booked: Alonso, Reina.

Goals: Cisse 20.

Att: 25,000.

Ref: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).




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